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Scottish council elections, 5 May 2022

Scottish council elections 5 May 2022

An election for Scottish councils will take place on Thursday 5 May 2022.

Eligible voters will have the chance to vote for councillors to represent their local area - called a ward. Each ward has three or four councillors to represent it. You must be aged 16 or over to vote in local council elections.

All households in Scotland will have received a voter information booklet from the Electoral Commission explaining how to register to vote, how to apply for a postal or proxy vote, and how to complete their ballot paper. The booklet is also available in BSL, easy read, audio, Polish and Gaelic. Braille and audio CD versions of the voting guide are available on request by calling 0800 3 280 280.

Please note: The deadline to register to vote in the Council elections is now past. However you can register to vote for future elections at any time online. You will need your National Insurance Number and date of birth to complete the registration.

Voting in person

You will have received a poll card telling you where to go to cast your vote. Alternatively you can find details of your polling place on the Electoral Commission’s website or using our interactive map below.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday 5 May and staff will be on hand to provide any help you need.

You do not need your poll card to vote, but we encourage you to bring it with you to make the process quicker and more efficient.

Public health measures will be in place at polling places, similar to those in other indoor venues, and we ask voters to wear face coverings and allow 1m distancing to protect yourself and others.

The Electoral Commission video below highlights the measures in place at polling stations.

Video file
Video file

Single transferable vote - how to use your vote

Council elections on 5 May will use the single transferable vote (STV) system which means you can vote for as many or as few candidates as you like – marking 1, 2, 3… at the names of your choices. 

The ballot paper shows the name of each candidate, along with their party name and logo and their address. 

Instead of marking X at only one candidate, you can rank the candidates in the order you want. So, put a 1 next to your first choice candidate, a 2 next to your second choice, a 3 next to your third choice, and so on. 

To be elected, a candidate must reach a set amount of votes known as the quota. The votes are counted in stages. In the first stage only first preferences (votes marked as 1) are counted. Anyone who reaches the quota is elected.  

Any votes received over the quota are transferred to the second preference (votes marked 2). If not enough candidates have then reached the quota, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is excluded and all their votes are passed to the next preference on the ballot papers. This process is repeated until three or four candidates have been elected for each council ward. 

Video file

Notices

Accessibility

These files may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Accessible HTML versions are available on the table of contents at the top of this page.

Council wards, polling districts and polling places

Page last updated:
06 May 2022

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